23 Dec 2004

EU ties into Pacific tourism ventures

3:03 pm on 23 December 2004

The Director of New Zealand's tourism research institute, Simon Milne, says the European Union is linking Pacific tourism projects with investors in a multi-million dollar initiative.

Mr Milne was asked by the EU to identify viable projects in the region, and he says EU officials have vetted and approved 160 of them, ranging from marine farming to a small cafe / dive operation.

He says the EU has put a lot of aid money into tourism development in the past 25 years, but it hasn't generated as much income, employment and sustainable development as the EU would have liked.

He says a conference in Fiji in February will focus on the selected business projects.

"So PROFIT in the Pacific is really about bringing together a range of tourism development initiatives in the pacific region with a group of potential investors from around the world. Its an attempt to get these businesses up and running, and to create jobs and income and to also provide some good investment and business opportunities for people outside the region."

Simon Milne says the conference is sponsored by the EU and PRO INVEST, another EU group whose focus is also to link businesses with potential investors.